Going by a handle based on his last name alone, Scott Mickelson offers a sturdy combination of old time banjo and gruff, assertive vocals, one that makes Flickering an auspicious introduction. Much like Blues Traveler, whose John Popper his voice most often resembles, Mickelson makes use of traditional instrumentation—frequently involving ragtime brass to emphasize the effect—all in service to his dramatic delivery.
“Hercules and Ironman have nothing on me,” he boasts early on, setting the stage for some arched, over-the-top intrigue. That flair for grandeur is evident early on with “Foolproof”, a track that preps the album with a beguiling beginning. Still, the blend of pluck and posturing takes some getting used to, being that the arrangements often seem to pull the proceedings in conflicting directions. Given his skills, it ought to be interesting to see what Mickelson comes up with next.
// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article